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Elephants knocked out

25 Jun 2010 17:40:05

Elephants knocked out

Yaya Toure, Romaric and Salomon Kalou were on target as Ivory Coast's World Cup campaign ended with a hollow 3-0 victory over North Korea.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's side struck twice inside 20 minutes through Yaya Toure and Romaric as they tore into their limited opponents from the outset, but only frustration followed in their final Group G game.

But North Korea, fearing more humiliation after their 7-0 hammering by Portugal, closed ranks after the break and only substitute Salomon Kalou could break through.

Ivory Coast arrived at the Mbombela Stadium knowing they needed to win, hoping Brazil could beat Portugal and see a nine-goal swing in the process.

The threatened goal duly arrived after 13 minutes as Yaya Toure took a neat touch from an Arthur Boka cross and coolly placed a shot into the bottom corner from 18 yards.

Romaric then clipped the post from distance before a fierce Didier Drogba shot rattled the underside of the bar and bounced off the line to allow Romaric to head in the second.

Ivory Coast ended the first half with another chance as Emmanuel Eboue shot over. They began the second period in similar fashion as Eboue forced North Korea to clear off the line but the Asian side at last managed to find some fortitude.

Deploying five in defence in a damage-limitation exercise, they quashed the threat of the Elephants for a period and even enjoyed some possession.

Yet Ivory Coast still seemed the side most likely to create chances and Drogba headed wide before Gervinho failed to turn in a Kader Keita cross on the hour.

Kalou entered the action but spurned a good chance when he scooped over at the end of a neat move. He made up for that when he volleyed in a Boka cross nine minutes from time but by then the players were going through the motions.


PA

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